30 November 2017

Navratri Celebration - 2K17

Dasara Bombe Habba, Navaratri, Golu, Durga Pooja, the 10 days celebration is celebrated and known by different names in India. 
And we celebrate it as Dasara Bombe Habba, the arrangement of dolls. This is our 7th year of Navaratri at home and the arrangement it getting better, year after after with the increasing collection of my dolls. So here it is for this year's celebration.











And this last pic has my daughter's best of waste project, the lighthouse, made of paper cup, tissue roll, gems ball cap, bead and sea shells. How is it?
I had been lucky enough to visit bombe of my friends and relatives over the years, be at Dubai or Thane or Hassan, so this year was no different. We shifted to Pune this March and one of my friends informed me of bombe in my neighbourhood. And believe me, I never wait for an invite to visit bombe, so I was there to see this beautiful arrangement,
After Bombe, here is about this year's Durga Pooja celebration.
While there are many Bengali Associations arranging Durga Pandals in Mumbai and Thane, I was not sure of any in Pune. But then one of my friends told me about Shivanjali Mangal Karlay on Nagar Road and Rohi Villa in Koregaon Park. 
 Shivanjali Mangal Karlay had this beautiful Durga idol along with life size ladies, representing the power of Durga.
 And this is of Rohi Villa at Koregoan Park, one of the rich Durga pandals. This pandal also has a flea market and food court. 
If you stay in Pune, don't miss to visit them next Durga Puja. That's it for this year's Navratri post, hope you all like it.

25 November 2017

Kaas Plateau - Our Own Valley of Flowers...

Had been busy with festive celebrations and our vacation to Bangalore-Mysore-Chennai-Mahabalipuram-Pondicherry. So was my blog neglected since last few months. Am back with one of my favourite posts of a wonderful trip to Kaas.
Kaas Plateau was in my visit list since couple of years, and finally we made it this Sept. Known as the Valley of Flowers of Maharashtra for the wild flowers that bloom during Sept and Oct every year, this plateau in western ghat became a part of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 2012 and over the years the visitor count has been growing.
Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
The pic was clicked sitting on the rocks, no flowers or sapling were spoiled while clicking the pic..
Kaas Plateau in Satara District is around 135km from Pune, we wanted to plan a day trip along with Thoseghar Falls and Sajjangadh Fort, but a delayed start and with few break downs, we were on Mumbai - Bangalore highway by 10. We had booked online for the entry to the plateau which is under forest authority. It was 1-4PM slot and accordingly we planned to have lunch on the way and reach Kaas. We stopped at Vittal Kamat for lunch, the food is ok especially for Kamat group. Plateau is on the other side of Satara city, so you need to cross the city. The uphill starts just at the end of the city and its another 20km drive before you reach the plateau. The rout becomes heavy on traffic during peak, since we visited at the start we didn't get any traffic except after reaching the plateau.  Even the stretch as soon as you reach the top of the hill is beautiful, with wonderful shades of green stretch. At the ticket counter you can show the online ticket and drive to parking area. Parking area is almost a km from the first entry gate and shuttle bus is available from parking to the plateau. Here are the beautiful flowered we got to see,
Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
Suichi Bhaji  - Dipcadi montanum

Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
Nilima - Murdannia Simplex

Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
Gulabi Terada - Impatiens oppositifolia
  
Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
Seetechi Aasave - Utricularia Purpurascens

Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
Gend - Eriocaulon sedgwickii

Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
Gend - Eriocaulon sedgwickii

Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
Undri  - Linum mysurense

Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
Chavar - Hitchenia caulina 

Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
Bud of Abhali - Cyanotis tuberosa

Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas


Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
 Lal Terda - Impatiens oppositifolia

Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
 Lal Terda - Impatiens oppositifolia
Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas
Hubby Posing at one of the lakes in the plateau

I lost my Cannon Mirrorless few months back and these were the pics I clicked with my Vivo V5S, I guess my phone too has done a good job, but missed by DSLR for these Macro shots. Its really disheartening to see visitors clicking pics laying on the flowers. Even though there are authority people and locals warning from spoiling the flowers and saplings, people are in their own world. 
Travel, Kaas Plateau, Valley of Flowers Maharashtra, Flowers of the World, Wild Flowers, Beautiful Kaas

Few things to know before you visit Kaas,

1. Book your entry online on their website here, Morning and evening slots are pleasant, even afternoon slot are ok if it drizzles. 
2. The stretch of flowers changes over the 2 months, you can buy this book Flowers of Kaas Plateau which gives you detailed information on the flowers which bloom over the 2 months along with their botanical names. Our visit was too early as per authority and were told the blooms are at their best during early Oct. 
3. The vehicle parking place is almost a km from the plateau entry and there are shuttle buses which play between the plateau and parking, don't hesitate to ask for lift if you find anybody driving empty from parking
4. Be hydrated and light as you need to walk around a bit and there are no food stalls to serve any snacks or even water in the plateau. 
5. Carry rain jackets or umbrella, as its at its best in monsoon and can start pouring anytime.
6. Wear walking shoes with enough grip as the plateau becomes too slippery even with slight drizzle.
7. Lastly be a responsible traveller to walk only on the pathway or rocks and not to spoil the beauty, the place offers.

5 September 2017

Manacha Paanch Ganapathi of Pune...

Going on with my posts on the Ganesh Chaturthi, here is my next post on Manacha Paanch, the five most auspicious Ganapathi idols around the ancient city of Pune. The five Ganapathi's in the order of preference they proceed on the last day of ten day festival for immersion. 
After our morning visit to Dagadusheth Halwai and Kasaba Ganapathi for the welcome procession on Ganesh Chaturthi, we wanted to visit Manacha Paanch the same evening, but whole of Shanivar peth was so crowded that we visited few of other pandals and planned to visit the Manacha Paanch some other day. Last Saturday after dinner we thought of driving to Shanivar Peth. We reached Shaniwar Wada by midnight, the main gates were still open for the crowd who walked around the fort visiting the Ganapathi Pandals. We sat there and clicked few pics of the so called haunted fort of Pune and walked towards Shivaji Road. Even at 12, the roads were filled with devotees, especially the Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapathi. So here is the list of 5 Manacha, 

Kasba Ganapathi

The first of the five Manacha is Kasba Ganapathi, the presiding deity(gramdevata) of Pune. Years back when the city of Pune revolved around Shaniwar wada fort and its markets, Kasba Ganapathi temple was the presiding deity, for the royal Peshwa family and the natives. Said to be commissioned by Jijabhai, Shivaji's mother, the temple is in Kasba peth. The pandal is a replica of the main Kasba temple itself which is an old wooden building with great wood works.
Ganesha pandal of pune, Manacha paanch, Pune, Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi, Kasaba Ganapathi, Tambdi Jogeswari, Guruji Tahim, Kesariwada, Lokmanya Tilak, Tulsibaug Ganapathi, Ganesha

Tambdi Jogeshwari

While few say its the Kasba Ganapthi which is the Gramdevata, others believe the Goddess at the Tambdi Jogeshwari as the Gramdevi. Being the oldest temple in the vicinity, the idol is said to be swayanbhu(which has appeared on its own). Its said, looking the popularity of the temple and the visiting devotee count, Lokmanya Tilak initiated to install the Ganesh Pandal at the temple and gave it the second place in the Manacha Paanch. The idol resides in a beautiful silver mantap, on tortoise. Tambdi Jogeshwari is in Budhwar Peth
Ganesha pandal of pune, Manacha paanch, Pune, Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi, Kasaba Ganapathi, Tambdi Jogeswari, Guruji Tahim, Kesariwada, Lokmanya Tilak, Tulsibaug Ganapathi, Ganesha

 

Guruji Tahim

The third of Manacha is Guruji Tahim which is very close to Tambdi Jogeshwar in Budhvar Peth. Started by two Hindu and Muslim families Bhiku Shinde and Ustaad Nalban, it signifies the unity between the two communities. The Guruju Tahim Ganapathi is Balaganapthi sitting on his vahan(vehicle) mouse. 
Ganesha pandal of pune, Manacha paanch, Pune, Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi, Kasaba Ganapathi, Tambdi Jogeswari, Guruji Tahim, Kesariwada, Lokmanya Tilak, Tulsibaug Ganapathi, Ganesha

Tulsibaug Ganapathi

Located in Tulsibaug market, the fourth Ganapathi is Tulsibaug Ganapathi. This is the biggest of all five and is beautifully adored with silver and gold ornaments. The decor is so rich and vibrant. The pandal is no big, but just covering the idol, hence you get a very close view. 
Ganesha pandal of pune, Manacha paanch, Pune, Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi, Kasaba Ganapathi, Tambdi Jogeswari, Guruji Tahim, Kesariwada, Lokmanya Tilak, Tulsibaug Ganapathi, Ganesha
  

Kesariwada Ganapathi

The last of the Manacha, is the Ganesha at Kesariwada, which relates to Lokmanya Tilak's Kesari Magazine and signifying the revolution of Sarvajanik Ganesh Uthsav. It had three idols this year, the main silver idol, the immersible idol and the third was the tree Ganesha(the one unpainted in the tub next to the silver idol). The tree Ganesha, eco friendly ganesha with seeds, which turns into plant, once dissolved. The temple has the idol of Lokmanya Tilak and the paintings on the walls depicting his life. Its the building which was the residence of Tilak and now houses Lokmanya Tilak Museum.
Ganesha pandal of pune, Manacha paanch, Pune, Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi, Kasaba Ganapathi, Tambdi Jogeswari, Guruji Tahim, Kesariwada, Lokmanya Tilak, Tulsibaug Ganapathi, Ganesha
Though all the five idols are immersed every year and its the new idol which adores the pandal the next year, the features and the beauty of the idols remain the same and you can easily make out each of the them by their look.

1 September 2017

Ganesha in all his forms...

It was a fair scene on Shivaji Road, early morning on Ganesh Chaturthi. Shops selling Ganesha idols, pooja and decor items, flowers and everything needed for the 10 day celebration which had started.
Ganesha idols in all his forms, you name it and they have it, Ganesha as Vittal, as Shiva, as Krishna,  as Peshwa, as Bahubali(the present trending movie) and more. On Elephant, on peacock, on mouse and more,
Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

                     Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune     Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune
 Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

Few other Pandals we visited
Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!!!

27 August 2017

Sarvajanik Ganesh Uthsav Celebrates its 125 years...


For this year's Ganesh Chaturthi we have story from Pune, the place where Sarvajanik Ganesh Uthsav(public celebration) originated. Its said Ganesh chaturthi had been celebrated publicly since the era of Shivaji in Pune, but during British rule, fearing public assemblies after the first war of Indian Independence, British had imposed rule against public gathering of more than 20 people for social or political purposes, but had exempted muslims from Friday mosque prayers. In 1892 Bhausaheb Laxman Javale installed the first Sarvajanik Ganesh in Pune. And in 1893, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak praised the celebration in his newspaper Kesari and chose to use the public gathering at the Sarvajanik Ganesh Uthsav under religious exemption for the fight against British rule.
Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Dagadusheth Halwai, Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapathi, Kasaba Ganapathi, Shaviwar Peth
Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapathi procession from Temple to Pandal.
Its 125th year of Sarvajanik Ganesh Uthsav this year and we were at the Shivaji Road on the early morning of Ganesh Chaturthi capturing the celebration, the grand welcome of Ganesha on his day. The roads were full, with the dhol groups presenting their rhythmic dhol, devotees, media everyone enjoying the celebration in rains.
Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Dagadusheth Halwai, Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapathi, Kasaba Ganapathi, Shaviwar Peth
Ladies Dhol at the procession
Watching the Ganesha procession was altogether a different view than watching in the pandals. The procession, the stapana(first worship in pandal), the devotion and ethnicity had so much positive vibe. I was comparing everything with the way Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in Mumbai, there is so much of ethnicity, faith and devotion here in Pune, while I always felt the celebration in Mumbai is more of colours, magnificence, dancing and publicity, sorry if that hurts any Mumbaikars ;)
Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Dagadusheth Halwai, Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapathi, Kasaba Ganapathi, Shaviwar Peth
Flowers been showered on Kasaba Ganapathi in Palki
While Dagadusheth Ganapathi proceeded in beautiful floral chariot, the Kasaba Ganapathi proceeded in palki(a carriage with two handles, carried by two or more people on their shoulders) with flowers been showered. I was told the Dagadusheth Halwai temple has two Ganesha idols, the main idol which is of silver and the uthsav murthi(procession idol), which is not immersed like in Mumbai, but its the same idol which is got to the pandal every year during Ganesh Chaturthi and kept back in the temple during rest of the year.
Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesha, Dagadusheth Halwai, Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapathi, Kasaba Ganapathi, Shaviwar Peth
Another Ganesha procession which we came across on Shivaji Road.
Ganesha Pandals and celebration are everywhere around the city and more posts coming up on Ganesh in following posts.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!!!